Living within your means can be very difficult if your means are already limited. Furthermore, if you have bills that are paid quarterly, it can sometimes be hard to plan ahead when you have emergencies. We’ve found that if we know in advance what our utilities payments are, it helps us to plan better.
To this end, we decided to approach the utilities companies with options for monthly payments. Some are more willing than others to set up monthly payments. I guess they find it a hassle to chase you up monthly rather than quarterly. However, if you tell them that you want to do monthly direct deposits, they would be much more receptive. The direct deposits would be automatic and they wouldn’t have to worry about bills. Nevertheless, they would probably have to keep checking to make sure your monthly payments do not need adjustment for changes in your usage.
The direct deposits make life a lot simpler for you as well, because you don’t have to remember to pay your bills in time. Because of this convenience on both sides, some utility companies offer discounts for this. Another bonus when you are already financially strapped.
We are in need of another car again. And we don’t have the money to get another one yet. We’ve considered getting a personal or car loan but the interest rates are too high. Plus, our bank is not likely to give us a loan because we do not have a very long and active history with them. In addition, we do not own our own home. In short, we do not have sufficient credit history.
This lack of good credit rating means that the best we can hope for is financing with high interests. I saw an ad in a paper recently claiming how easy it was to get a loan through some group – “Don’t you wish all loans were this easy to understand?” it stated. It showed how much you would pay back if you borrowed a certain amount. Since the amount they published was relatively small, the figure did not seem overwhelming. But in big lettering, it said the interest rate was 78.6%! Who would be crazy enough to go for that? Even in our dire straits, we would not consider loan sharks, even those generous enough to take only 78.6% and not 1000%.
It has come home to us that having a good credit rating is essential for getting on in this world. But, life itself has been so difficult that it is hard to have good credit rating. We do not have enough money to buy a house, so it will be a long time before we reach that stage. We don’t carry credit cards because credit card debt got us into a lot of trouble in the past. Yet, you can’t build a credit history without a credit card.
Without good credit rating, banks don’t want to help you. If banks don’t help you, you can never get the good credit rating. It’s a vicious cycle.
The only advantage to not having a good credit rating is that people are less likely to want your identity.